All posts by NCCERT

NC CERT Holds 2015 Human Remains Detection Seminar, April 23-26, 2015

JANUARY 22, 2015 – WILSON NC – NC CERT will be holding our annual Human Remains Detection Seminar from April 23-26, 2015. For more information please download the following documentation. Completed forms should be emailed to HRD2015@NCCERT.ORG.

We look forward to seeing you again this year.  If you haven’t yet attended one of our seminars, we look forward to meeting you!

Relevant Documents:

Application and Registration


Sandra Lesko – Sandra has been employed by the Willoughby Hills Fire Departments since 1982 and is now a retired full time Fire Captain from that department.  She has also worked in Law Enforcement since 1990, currently a Deputy with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the K-9 Unit.  Sandra Has been working with K-9’s since 1996 starting in the field of tracking but soon switched to Human Remains Detection (HRD) and has been working an HRD K-9 since 1997. Sandra has worked with the FBI Cleveland Division since 2002, working primarily on missing persons cases with her German Shepherds.  Sandra is currently working her third K-9, Doc and her fourth K-9, EJ.  All four K-9’s have successfully located Human Remains and have indicated on blood evidence and small parts of human remains in several vehicles and buildings, which has ultimately linked suspects to the victims.  Sandra’s K-9’s have also located Human Remains and bones in various locations, including several drowning victims.   She travels around the State of Ohio and beyond where ever she is needed, including working Ground Zero on 9/11/2001.  Sandra is a member of the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), The Ohio Identification Officers (OIO), Ohio Law Enforcement Canine Association (OLECA), in addition to several other affiliations.  Sandra continually attends schools on Death Investigation and other related classes, as well as, attends and teaches classes on K-9 Human Remains Detection.

Michael Hadsell – Michael has been in the working and training of K9’s for almost 35 years. He is currently the Training Director for the Peace River K9 Search & Rescue Association and has brought almost 50 K-9s to National Certification. His career began back in Los Angeles California working with Law Enforcement and also providing K9 support for visiting VIP’s and Celebrities. Since then Michael has competed in Schutzhund, KNPV, K9 Pro Sports and AKC tracking events. He is a member in good standing with the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and the Working Dog Association since 2001. Michael is also a member of the North America Police Working dog Association (NAPWDA) and member and competitor in the National Association of Scent Work (NACSW). He has also been a certifying Judge and Certified Bite Suit Decoy for the Service Dog Association.
Michael’s philosophy of training addresses the total and balanced dog. He is not a proponent of ALPHA dog or Dominance theory training. Rather he uses motivational and positive training methods combined with Clear communication skills to build reliable behaviors. This avoids all the inadvertent problems that come with the aversive styles of training. Michael also continuously attends seminars by top trainers in this field so he can keep his skills at their best.

Cpl. Chris Wood – Cpl. Wood has been with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Jan. 2003 as a Corrections Deputy. He was a Field Training Officer (FTO) and promoted to Corporal in Sep. 2005. Chris has been a Bloodhound Handler from 2003 and a Cadaver K9 Handler since 2005. Cpl. Wood has received several awards for service with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for Cadaver K9 calls for service. Chris is a FBI cadaver resource for the State of Florida, a member of NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) Team ADAM and FDLE CART, Orlando Region. He is an NCMEC/FBI cadaver Instructor and also holds an FDLE Instructor certification.

Dep. Fred Mendiola – Deputy Mendiola has been with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office since 2000 and a K9 Deputy since 2001 as a Bloodhound K9 Handler. Dep. Mendiola has been a Narcotics K9 Handler since 2005. He has received several awards for service with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to include: Law Enforcement’s Medal of Valor, J. Edgar Hoover Award, Deputy of the Year for the State of Florida through the Florida Sheriff’s Association. He is a member of NCMEC Team ADAM and FDLE CART, Orlando Region.

Mickey Januszkiewicz – NAPWDA Master Trainer for Utility, Narcotics and Cadaver
Retired from Charleston Police Department, South Carolina
18 yrs. K9 Handler/Trainer/Supervisor with CPD
Member/VP of South Carolina Search Dogs with new dog
K9 Ruby – (stinkin’ labrador retriever) – HRD certified NAPWDA & NASAR

Kevin Johnston – 1987 – 2014 – Wilson, NC Police Department
1989 – 2013 – K9 Handler (worked 4 dogs – patrol/narc) Wilson, NC Police Department
1992 – 2002 – Region 2 President (NC/SC), U.S. Police Canine Association
1994 – 2014 – K9 Trainer, Wilson, NC Police Department
1996 – Date – General Instructor, NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission
2004 – 2012 – Region 2 Secretary-Treasurer, U.S. Police Canine Association
2009 – 2011 – National Vice-President Southeast, U.S. Police Canine Association
2011 – Date – National President, U.S. Police Canine Association
Nationally Certified Judge – patrol and detector dogs, U.S. Police Canine Association
Nationally Certified Trainer – Level 3, U.S. Police Canine Association

Gordon Deno – Gordon has been the Emergency Manager for Wilson County, NC since July 1993.  He has worked for Wilson County since 1984.  He has been involved in emergency services work for the last twenty-nine years including 911 dispatch, EMS, Fire Service, Hazardous Materials and Search and Rescue.  He is a NC Fire/Rescue instructor.  Gordon specializes in Incident Management and has worked on Incident Management Teams locally, statewide, and nationally including Hurricanes Charlie and Katrina.   For fourteen years, Gordon served citizens of NC as a SAR Tech with NC Search and Rescue Dog Association.  He was the team leader for the Central unit for four years.  He was a SAR Dog Handler for ten years.  Gordon and his border collie Duncan were operational in wilderness SAR and land/water HRD.  They responded to numerous incidents and assisted in locating multiple victims during their career.  Duncan passed away on 16 August 2010.  He was thirteen years old.  Gordon has continued to assist other handlers with training, teams with SAR dog evaluations, and jurisdictions with search management

Mac Morgan – Mac has been active in dog training since 1979, a retired police K9 Handler, Master Trainer for Sanford Police Department. Mac began training – handling Search & Rescue Canines in 1992. He served as President and director of training for the Mid-Atlantic Dog Association, President and Vice-President of the NC Search and Rescue Advisory Council; currently President of NCCERT (NC Canine Emergency Response Team, Inc.); Mac and his K9s have worked with Law Enforcement Agencies across NC and has been deployed across the southeastern US. Mac is an lead instructor, evaluator and certifier for the National Association for Search & Rescue for both people and canines and has instructed at numerous community colleges and various search and rescue seminars across the country.

NC CERT Presents Powerful Video About Search and Rescue

WENDELL NC – The North Carolina Canine Emergency Response Team (NC C.E.R.T.) has presented a new video about Search and Rescue.

This video, created and inspired by the members of NC CERT, is a small window into Search and Rescue. You’ll see smiles, you’ll see heartbreak, you’ll see pain and the euphoria of bringing someone home safe. No matter how painful, tragic or hard it is, we will always be there to serve you. From all of us at NC CERT….

This is why….

NC CERT and Beaufort County NC Holds 2015 SAREX in Washington, NC – CANCELLED FOR 2015


Beaufort County, NC and NC CERT presents it’s 15th annual Search and Rescue exercise SARX 2015.  Please see the attached documentation for registration and sign-up.

All teams are highly encouraged to attend as this exercise is as close to real life as it gets. If you have any questions, please make contact with one of the persons listed on the attached flyer.

Lodging will be provided onsite in the form of cabin bunkhouses. Tent camping is available in the area as well. For those of you who want to camp and are bringing an RV, please contact one of the persons listed on the flyer to make arrangements. No hookups are available for campers or RV’s. Attendees should check in before setting up camp.

We look forward to seeing you again this year if you’ve attended previously. If you have not attended previously, we look forward to meeting you and working with you. 

Americas Guardians PSMC Joins NC CERT in 2nd Annual Ride For A Cause

SANFORD NC – MARCH 14, 2015 — NC CERT would like to thank the folks of the American Guardians PSMC for supporting our team. Their support is so strong that they are holding their second annual Ride for a Cause in the name of NC CERT.

Attached are flyers with more information.   We ask that you share with any riders you know and please feel free to participate!!!  Our team members pay out of pocket to provide our services and your donations go a long way in helping us stay in operation.

Ride begins at Honda Suzuki of Sanford, 3128 S. Horner Blvd. Sanford, NC.  Registration starts at 8:30am – Please click on the Flyer links below….



2 Year Old Raleigh Boy Still Missing – Father Charged with Murder

(WRAL) RALEIGH NC – Investigators have arrested the parents of a missing 2-year-old boy, charging his father with murder and his mother with misdemeanor child abuse, Raleigh police said Thursday morning.

“Investigative developments overnight by Raleigh Police Department detectives have led the Tristan Blue missing-person case in a new direction,” spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement.

Steven Daniel Blue, 31, and Briana Loriel Dangerfield, 25, both of 5416 Portree Place, #1, Raleigh, were taken into custody Thursday morning. Blue was being held in the Wake County jail without bond; Dangerfield was jailed under a $100,000 bond.

Tristan’s body, however, has not been found, and police did not provide any other details about the case.


NC CERT Sonar Crew Locates Missing 15 Yr old Boater in Craven County

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC – Sonar crews from NC CERT responded to Craven County North Carolina on June 3, 2014 to search for a missing boater.  Tanner Webb, 15, of River Bend North Carolina fell from a boat that was operating on the Trent River in Craven County the day before, and did not return to the water surface.

Sonar crews from NC CERT deployed a Marine Sonic Side Scan Sonar to locate the missing boater at the request of Craven County Emergency Management.  At approximately 1pm, NC CERT located the missing boy on the river bottom.  Divers from Sidney dive team were then deployed to bring Tanner to the surface, and provide closure for his family and friends.

NC CERT extends our heartfelt condolences to Tanner’s loved ones.  This tragic event touched our hearts, and we hold up those who loved him in our prayers.

Follow the link below for the local news story and video on this tragic event.

Video of Incident

Latest News Article

National Center for K-9 Training Seminar

The National Center for K-9 Training is pleased to announce their May 2014 HRD and Trailing Seminar, which will occur in Jesup, GA on May 17-18, 2014. There will be two tracks to choose from. Tracking and Trailing or HRD. HRD will include land and water.

For any questions or issues about registration or lodging, you may call Sharon Avila at 727-439-1569. In addition, you can email

Click on the link below to download the flyer. Enjoy!!

You can also go directly to their website by following the link below:


73 Year Old Missing Female Found in Wake Forest, NC

WAKE FOREST NC – April 7 2014, a woman with cognitive impairments walked away from a rest home in Wake Forest at approximately 5:30am. A search was started in which the North Carolina K9 Emergency Response Team (NC CERT) eventually participated.

Mary Lee Williams, 73, was reported missing after she was last seen around 5:30 a.m. at The Lodge at Wake Forest, at 1151 S. Main St.

Thankfully later that afternoon, she was found safe. Agencies included NC CERT, Wilson County Mounted Search Team, Wake Forest Police Department, Wake Forest Fire Department, Wake Emergency Management, NC State Highway Patrol, and Wake County Sheriff’s Department. Great team work and excellent work on once again, saving another life.

See Full Article Here

Daniel McCoy Moses Still Missing Despite New Search Effort

JACKSON – Despite coming up empty handed near here Friday morning, the search for Daniel McCoy Moses is far from over.

Roanoke Chowan News Herald Staff Writer Cal Bryant
Roanoke Chowan News Herald Staff Writer Cal Bryant

A five-person team representing North Carolina CERT (Canine Emergency Response Team) and an equal number of highly trained cadaver dogs joined Northampton County Sheriff’s officers on a ground search for Moses, missing since 2011, in a small wooded area located near his former home along W.J. Duke Service Road near the Rehoboth community.

“We were hopeful that today’s search would produce results,” said Northampton Sheriff’s Captain Chuck Hasty, one of three NCSO officers at the scene. “We failed to find Mr. Moses today, but we’ll keep looking. This case remains very active. We’re still following up on leads and have some interviews set up for next week.”

“We want to solve this case just as badly as the Moses family,” said Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith. “We appreciate the efforts today from NCCERT. We will use whatever resources we can to solve this case, as well as the Shawn Alston case (missing since the fall of 2012). These families want some closure.”

Chief Morgan and Capt. Hasty discussing search plans.

Northampton County Sheriff’s Captain Chuck Hasty (left) and NCCERT leader Mac Morgan study a map of the wooded area to be searched. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

Friday, NCCERT volunteers, using two dogs at the time, zigzagged their way through the wooded area. Two complete sweeps of the area were performed. An abandoned home and lot, heavy with underbrush, on the same property were also a part of the search grid.

In the woods, the first four dogs through each showed interest in one specific area. That led team leader Mac Morgan – a retired law enforcement officer now living in Wendell – to take in “Tucker” (a golden retriever) for one final search.

“Nothing,” said Morgan as he, Tucker, and the other four NCCERT volunteers exited the woods for the final time. “All of the dogs showed some interest in there, but none gave a final alert. I can say with about 90 percent accuracy that there’s not a body in those woods.”

Morgan said the “area of interest” that the dogs hit upon was perhaps methane gas.

“I’m pretty sure it’s methane gas, which is natural with a body that’s in decomposition, but it’s also part of green matter, leaves and limbs, on the floor of a woods. That area didn’t convince the dogs that a body was there,” he noted.

The search included each handler using GPS to plot their trek through the wooded area. That information was downloaded onto a computer.

Morgan said the dogs go through a rigorous certification process in HRD (human remains). All their training and field searches, to even include regular check-ups at an animal clinic, are well documented. They are trained by smell and will alert their handler to a body by laying down on top of that area. Morgan said that action indicates a final alert that something is there.

Information shared by the Moses family led the search team and dogs to this particular wooded area on Friday.

“We did not have any definite information that Mr. Moses may be buried there; it was just a hunch we were acting upon,” said Hasty. “We received permission from the landowner (Dr. Boone Mara) to conduct the search.”

The NCCERT volunteers and dogs were also supposed to search an area in the western part of the county, related to the Alston case, on Friday. However, Hasty reported that the property owner did not wish to cooperate with law enforcement and denied the search request.

Alston was last seen on Oct. 18, 2012 at 11:30 p.m. He was leaving a neighbor’s house on Berry Scott Trail in Garysburg, walking in the direction of his home. He was wearing a black shirt and khaki cargo shorts. He is 40 years old, 5’7” tall, and weighs between 190-210 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. The Robinson/Alston family is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to his whereabouts.

Moses was last seen on June 16, 2011 at his home in the Rehoboth community, located between Rich Square and Jackson. The day he vanished, a fire destroyed his home.   Both of his vehicles and his motorcycle were still on the property.  Moses (age 61 at the time of his disappearance) is 6’0″ tall and 200 lbs.  He has brown eyes and black hair with shades of gray trimmed in a box-style cut. The Moses family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to his whereabouts.

Hasty said there has been no activity on Moses’ bank account or cell phone since the days leading up to him vanishing in thin air.

Anyone with information can contact the SBI at 1-800-334-3000 regarding Moses or call Northampton County Crime Stoppers at 1-252-534-1110 regarding Alston.

This article was published in full with permission from the Roanoke Chowan News Herald